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Everything posted by scubag

  1. The filter size on the PT-020 housing is 67mm however the lenses will not work correctly for several reasons, including the fact that the 5060 moves the zoom lense front element farther from the port at the wide setting (28mm) so you will have some wild vignetting. Also the housing lense barrel is clear, so you get a lot of stray light entering as well. The only way to get good wide angle with the 5060 is by using the ikelite housing and dome port with the internal Olympus wide converter, which is made specificly for the 5060. Doug
  2. As an owner of multiple 5060 which are used to rent and teach u/w photo classes, the camera is far superior in every way but one to the 5050. The pluses: better in camera zoom range, faster shutter responce, brighter lcd display, better battery life (more shots between battery changes). The drawbacks: inability to use the Inon wide add on lens on the Olympus housing (although you can use the Olympus wide angle lens in the new Ikelite housing and dome port combo). So to me unless you are fixated on using the Inon (or other similar) add on wide lens, there is no other reason to even consider a 5050. Doug
  3. Great boat and great diving, I heard that the Bilikiki has undergone a complete refit in the last year or so. I was on board in the late 80's and it was some of the best diving I've ever done. Lots of wrecks, lots of big pelagics. Wish I was there. Doug
  4. Beautiful images Alex, makes me want to ditch the Caribbean and move to the Pacific. Your floating Pygmy could be a Nat Geo cover. Doug
  5. I've owned an older model Oceanic hoseless computer for about 5 years now, and with a few minor exceptions it has worked quite well. Currently its air pressure reads about 500 psi low, so that a full 3000 psi aluminum tank reads 2500 psi. I tried to breath it to zero to check its low end pressure and again I had about 500 psi when I checked with another guage. Since Oceanic has a fixed fee service charge and my warrantee is long gone, I have decided to live with the problem for now, but will send it to Oceanic as soon as my back up Diverite Nitek 3 computer comes back from service. I have never used the Suunto, but working for a Scubapro shop I've used the Air Z Nitrox many times. I personally prefer the Oceanic's green-yellow-red deco status scale, as it allows me to build in my own personal visual safety margin w/o reprogramming the computer. I also like that I can turn off the audible ascent speed warnings on the Oceanic, since I don't always want to hear a beeping computer when teaching diving and skills like the CESA , or chasing a student w/ buoyancy control emergencies. Doug
  6. Perhaps try a neutral density filter on the strobe. You can get a 4 x 4 gel at most camera stores and cut it to fit, then tape it on or put it beneath the diffuser. Doug
  7. I don't want to stir up a whole new can of worms but... as a certified diver there is no written in stone rule that says "you can't dive unless you dive with a buddy or a guide", although many dive operators have their own in house rules, many allow VERY experienced divers the option of doing what ever the heck they want to do, with or without a buddy, so long as they for example: do not exceed the planned max depth or time, or return to the boat w/o at least 500 psi, or back on the surface in X minutes. Whether you are experienced enough for this is another question completely. Again as I've said before, don't be afraid to ask your dive operator questions about their required supervision practices before you book with them. As for me, I learned my lesson while on vacation while diving with a operator who believed in never taking divers below 60' in huge groups while banging on their tanks to control the group and the dive was over in 30 minutes, even if I still had 2000 psi in my tank. Good Luck Doug
  8. Each has their advantages and dis-advantages. The PT-020 is more compact, far cheaper, depth rated to 130', yet still offers all camera functions including the built in flash for close ups, ttl strobe output to the Olympus FL-20 strobe (underpowered bu inexpensive). Where as the Ikelite housing is rated to 200', has nice hand grips for balance and strobe mounting, and wired ttl with the Ikelite DS-50 and DS-125 strobes, but costs 3X the price. Doug
  9. I was there in Feb, Isla Mujeres has 4 dive operators: Aqua Adventures, Mundaca Divers, Garafon Centro de Buceo and Coral Scuba, all small shops with ponga style open boats and small compressors at their shops. Very basic all of them. There is no shore diving, boats either dive the bay between Cancun and Isla Mujeres at a reef called Manchones (35' max) or take you back behind the island to "the caves of the sleeping sharks" which could any one on 15 sites depending on the operator, the time of day, the zodiac sign of the dive guide etc if you get my drift. There is a fast ferry to Puerto Morelos just north of Cancun with Marina Ultra Mar for $8 usd round trip. The dive operators in Cancun dive a wider variety of sites and have better boats and facilities, and of course more divers on the boat. Try Scuba Cancun www.scubacancun.com.mx (ask for Tomas or Mijali) or Aqua World www.aquaworld.com.mx (ask for Richard Chang) who also run day trips to Playa Del Carmen, Cozumel and the Cenotes Taj Majal, and Grand Cenote. Aqua World may even offer a ferry from Isla to their Marina in Cancun. There are several spectacular reefs off shore is 50-80' feet of water: the wrecks of the C-55, C-56?, which are 200+ foot long mexican navy frigates upright with good marine life (eagle rays, schools of black grouper, and baracudas) and STRONG currents. Grab the wreck to take a photo and your bubbles go horizontal and your mask slides across your face. Grampin is another great site in 50' of water with wall to wall fish (and again a fairly strong current. Overall the marine life is excellent, the vis 30-70 feet, the currents ugly off shore in deeper water. The island is quite charming and laid back though, and you should have a great stay. Sorry but I am unfamiliar with the hotels, I have a house in Cancun for my frequent trips there. Hope I helped some. Doug Kaufman
  10. I believe these are Branching Anemone "Lebrunia Danae" also common here in the USVI, although I do not have my ID books with me to double check. I have also seen some wth a bluish coloration. Doug
  11. One easy way to float the strobes is with neoprene. Bodyglove sold me a 2m x 3m sheet of 7mm neoprene for $20. I made covers for my DS-50's, DS-125's and strobe arms, just cut the material and superglue the edges together. They can easily be removed and protect the strobes on and off the boats and in the rinse tanks. They do loose buoyancy at depth, but I've got mine perfectly neutral at 50' with dual DS-125's and double segment 12" arms on a Ikelite CP-5000 housing. Good Luck Doug
  12. Don, The numbers came from the Olympus press release listed above by apete. Any idea what shutter lag times are for my Nikon CP-5000 or the D-100? Doug
  13. Thanks James, As for Craig, my comments were not designed to piss you off Craig and were directed to Marco, who I believed to be a novice digital photographer with a new unused camera. Since I deal with new photographers daily and own several 5060's my concern was to give him an option and to keep things simple. As for my experiences, my guess is that I've been diving and taking photos underwater for as many years as you if not longer. Doug
  14. Since I own a variety of Olympus cameras (including the 5060) & housings and rent them (and teach photo classes with them) on a daily basis to divers of all experience levels, I disagree completely on the filter issue. There is no filter that can give a correct color balance in a variety of water conditions ie: sunny, cloudy, 30', 75', clear or murky. The ONLY way to get accurate color balance for natural light photography is though the use of a white or grey card and manual white balance settings. However... this is generally too complicated for the people renting a camera with minimal instruction, so we use UR-Pro (blue water) filters on the cameras. Although some photos taken in bright sun in shallow water and bright sun come out ok, the majority do not, and need substancial post shot color correction. As for the 1/60th sec shutter speed question, maybe those of us with thousands of dives and years of u/w photo experience (like you James) can pull that off with minimal subject blurr, most divers (the other 95%) can not. That being said, I definately agree with James & Craig on another point... get an external strobe. Doug
  15. Thanks for the press release apete, Does anyone know how the shutter lag of 55 milliseconds and autofocus responce time of .3 seconds compare to DSLRs that are currently on the market? I also believe that the purple fringing problems experienced by other 5-8 megapixel cameras is due to mgfrs using lenses originally designed for 3 mp cameras. The small sensor size just compounds any imperfections that the lense may already have. To eliminate the problem completely the lenses would truly have to be extrordinary, and I question if this quality can be acheived in a $1000 consumer camera. For example: a Nikkor 12-24 zoom for the D100 is $1000+ (just the lens) and the D100 has a much larger sensor size. Doug
  16. Marco, Although you can add a UR-Pro filter (67mm) to the PT-020, You loose nearly 2 stops of light by doing so, resulting in slow shutter speeds and blurred photos. As James said, use the built in flash for close ups of fish and critters, and learn to use the cameras maunual "one touch" white balance controls for ambiant light shots. You'll have more light (hense higher shutter speeds) and a more accurate color than you can get from an add on filter. Doug
  17. I use dual DS-125 stobes with the 1.25" double segment 4" arms for macro and 12" arms for wide angle and I love the setup with the QD on the handles, If the 12" arms were too bulky for you, then I believe Ike also has an intermediate size (8"?) that might be more your style. I made 7mm neoprene covers for the strobes and arm segments so that the end buoyancy was closer to neutral. Doug
  18. Thanks for reposting my some what harsh words. All of us as divers and photographers have a responsibility to not only propect the environment that we love so dearly but to also educate those around us and to instill in them that same love to protect what we have, so that our children (like my daughter who is now age 7) will grow up and have beautiful reefs and animals to dive with and treasure during their lives. Is that a run on sentence or what? Doug
  19. Like Karl and the others, I use the 19mm and dome on my CP-5000 in AF mode 98% of the time. Although for fish portraits the 55mm telephoto (with 19mm) is a bit limiting, I don't have to worry about color fall off from my strobes because I'm too far away. The rare exceptions being when I'm night diving and couldn't see the focus marks on the lcd display, even with the model lights from my DS-125 strobes on. In these cases manual focus (hyperfocal) is obviously the way to go. By the way, nice Cozumel Octopus shot Karl. Doug
  20. Perhaps Olympus, Inon, Ikelite or some other third party has an opening to make a new "shorter" flat port for the 5060 that will accommondate an external w/a lens w/o the ability to zoom the lens. Or perhaps a new w/a port with a dome front instead of the flat port on the Olympus. Doug
  21. I shot this in 20' of water on St Croix USVI. At first I thought it was some kind of giant deformed lizard fish, but the more I looked, I thought it could be some kind of eel. The closest I could find in my fish book is a "Spotted Spoon-Nose Eel" echiophis intertincus but I am not sure. The head is about 6" wide. Any help would be appreciated. Doug
  22. Although my 2 cents isn't worth much, the only way to separate me from my mac is to pry it from my cold dead hands. The reality that the newer machines (PC and MAC) are unbelievably fast compared to the top of the line machines from last year. With Eric being the exception, most of us use the the same old clunker for a couple years until we are forced to upgrade by perhaps a new version of Photoshop coming out. PS CS caused me to upgrade from an iMac running OS9 to a power mac G5 running OSX 10.3. So for the next two years I am in Mac heaven, until PS version 12 causes me to once again "think different". OS X is such a beautiful interface compared to XP, I can't imagine ever switching back. Use whatever works best for you, but if you are a first time buyer... buy a MAC. You'll be more productive faster (and look better). Doug
  23. Rick, I am unfamiliar with the Samsung V4 camera you mention, however I have used the CP-5700 in an Ikelite housing and have some negative feedback you might find interesting. 1. The Ikelite housing mounts to the CP-5700 via a tripod screw and o-ring that is attached THROUGH THE HOUSING BOTTOM via a hole in the housing. Very weird and very stupid. If the screw is accidently loosened, the housing and camera will flood. 2. The CP-5700 does not have the ability to fire an external strobe via a sync cord unless the internal strobe is active and fires. There is no way to disable the internal stobe and still fire the external strobe as on the CP-5000, which gained this feature after a Nikon software update (which the CP-5700 never received). The Ikelite housing does not have an internal flash deflector in the CP-5700 housing to help avoid backscatter problems. If you decide to go with a system / housing other than the CP-5700 / Ikelite combo, you should check out some of the nice Canon and Olympus camera / housing combos currently on the market in addition to the Samsung. Doug
  24. Hi Gang, Steves-Digicams has the Olympus press release with info and pricing. Our shop has them on order but probably won't have them in stock till the distributor gets them on the 15th of January. http://www.steves-digicams.com/pr/olympus_...5060acc_pr.html Doug
  25. Sami, I am not familiar with all the lenses you listed, but I have been using the Nikkor 19mm and Ikelite dome for more than a year now. The lense is very sharp, no vignetting at all, and of course it fits perfectly in the Ikelite dome. Another option would be to use the Inon wide angle lense with it's add on dome. From what I've read from other users it is very high quality as well. My guess is that that the two lenses you list in your post are no name house brand junk lenses that the camera store sells at unbelievably high markup (yes I used to work in the photo industry). Doug
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